Performance-building FalconFrames keep an eye on athletes' eyes
In fast-paced sports such as tennis, keeping your eye on the ball – and on your opponent – is essential to success. The FalconFrames wearable was designed with that fact in mind, as it's claimed to help boost its user's neuro-visual skills.
Currently being developed via a partnership with the John McEnroe Tennis Academy in New York, FalconFrames is made by sports tech startup OcuRay, which is in turn a division of Barbadian firm Evolution Optiks.
Looking a bit like a set of wraparound sunglass frames with the top cut off, the device features a strip of multicolor LEDs that runs along the bottom and sides of the wearer's field of vision. It also incorporates two gaze-tracking sensors, which constantly monitor the direction in which the user is looking.
The idea is that athletes will wear FalconFrames as they're practicing their given sport. While they're doing so, an app on a Bluetooth-connected smartphone will guide them through various visual-skills-building routines.
For example, the user may be told to keep their eyes focused on the ball, even when the LEDs are randomly illuminating to draw their attention away from it. In another scenario, designed to build their peripheral vision, the user may be told to glance at the lights where- and whenever they illuminate, even while they're busy playing.
"Can you see an object 90 degrees to your right while you are looking straight ahead? How soon? How precisely?" says Evolution Optiks CEO, Raul Mihali. "The device can then determine how fast you respond to a stimuli, and how precisely you can locate it in real time."
Down the road, plans call for the wearable to work with a separate device that continuously tracks the position of a tennis ball from one side of the court, and transmits that information to the FalconFrames in real time. Users may also be able to compare their own eye-brain-motion coordination to that of athletes who are champions in their sport, to see how they need to improve.
Mihali tells us that a commercial release date for FalconFrames has yet to be determined, and that it should ultimately sell for a few hundred dollars. Potential buyers can register for updates via the OcuRay website.
Source: Evolution Optiks